It’s about time advertisements acknowledged the world’s shifting family dynamics. I think many of us are used to commercials that feature a wife, husband and their two kids: they’re usually sitting at the dinner table, waiting for Mom to bring them a hot bowl of spaghetti, proudly made with Prego marinara sauce. However, this idea of the normative “family” is no longer a universal application. In this day and age, there are no rules for what a family should look like.
America, especially, has come a long, long way in a short amount of time. We’ve done a better job advocating human rights, and politicians have stepped up and assumed responsibility for how people are being treated based on their sexual orientation and identification.
CEOs of some of our larger companies have also taken responsibility for how their products are advertised and who their real target audience is. Honey Maid, Banana Republic and Coca-Cola are some of the first major companies to use gay couples in their advertisements to publicly recognize the fact that heteronormativity just isn’t realistic. These brands have done an amazing job embracing and advocating our changing society.
Honey Maid, owned by Mondelez International, debuted their new campaign a couple of weeks ago. It features interracial and gay couples, as well as a tattooed musician and single father. The brand, which prides itself for its “wholesome” outlook on life and food, redefined their term with their commercial. This is the new “wholesome.”
What’s seriously cool about this movement is that Mondelez wants to promote “real-life stories.” These stories include Jason and Tim (the couple in the commercial who are raising two sons), two very real people representing their life and how they live it.
Gary Osifchin, senior marketing director at Mondelez, stated, “We recognize change is happening every day, from the way in which a family looks today to how a family interacts to the way it is portrayed in media.” The company is even reaching out, asking their Twitter followers to post pictures of their families with hashtag #thisiswholesome.
More like This Is Awesome. Coca-Cola also ran a commercial during the Super Bowl which played “American the Beautiful” in different languages and illustrated the various types of families and ethnicities in America. The Super Bowl ad was the first ever to feature a homosexual family.
The president and CEO of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Sarah Kate Ellis, stated, “Including a gay family in this ad is not only a step forward for the advertising industry, but a reflection of the growing majority of Americans from all walks of life who proudly support their LGBT friends, family, and neighbors as integral parts of ‘America the Beautiful.’”
And it doesn’t just stop in the snack industry. A gorgeous gay couple is featured in one of Banana Republic’s newer ads. Nate Berkus and his fiancé, Jeremiah Brent, are a real-life couple that represent the fashion company’s late winter, early spring collection. Banana Republic decided to do this because they wanted to “capture something that is more genuine and reflects our current culture.”
Bravo, guys. This kind of compassionate initiative is exactly what our world needs.